Jhumpa Lahiri on Cross-Cultural Identity

06Feb13

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Names have always held special importance; they label, designate, reveal, and often can tie into one’s identity. In this NPR interview, author Jhumpa Lahiri discusses the significance of names as related to a multicultural identity. Lahiri’s works, including a short story collection titled Interpreter of Maladies and a novel The Namesake, examine the role of names in first-generation characters coming from India to America, and second-generation characters living in America. She deftly handles subjects like identity, immigration, family, generational differences, and gender with beautifully clear prose. In this interview, she relates how her own parents described having identities based in both India and America: “They always feel like they have a foot in two separate boats on the water, and each of the boats is floating and wanting to go in its own direction, and you’re sort of stuck in between, not knowing which to go into.”

NPR interview with the author

Jhumpa Lahiri’s newest story collection, Unaccustomed Earth, is now available for purchase.

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